In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Ashes of heroes

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: About 1870–1871

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00054

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from The Walt Whitman Archive I: Whitman Manuscripts at the Library of Congress, ed. Joel Myerson (New York: Garland, 1993), 1:158. The transcription was then checked against digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This manuscript was likely composed around 1870–1871, when Whitman was revising and expanding the poem "Hymn of Dead Soldiers," originally published in Drum-Taps (1865), for republication as "Ashes of Soldiers."

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth Price, Brett Barney, Nick Krauter, Lisa Renfro, and Melissa Sinner

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Ashes of heroes, ? soldiers, blended
with ashes of roses
& lilacs,

Ashes cerulean blended fused with
the ashes of gray,

Ashes of pine & palmetto

Ashes of North and South—ashes
of East & West,

Ashes of seaboard & inland
ashes of valle prairie, &
hill & valley rich

A sSacred aroma & powd
powder‑odor & dust


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The Soul of their Ashes
rising, ? risen

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